Neighborhood center, anniversary newspaper highlight Black El Paso stories

Lifelong El Pasoan Karen Cooper Linen calls the little rock house at 3231 Wyoming “a hidden treasure.”

The house on a quiet street corner in El Paso’s East Five Points neighborhood connects to a larger building to make up the McCall Neighborhood Center. Inside is a vibrant community gathering space and repository of El Paso’s Black history and achievement. “A lot of people that grew up here don’t know that it’s here,” said Cooper Linen, who serves on the center’s board. The McCall Center was established in 1983 by Leona Ford Washington, a teacher and community activist. It serves to preserve and showcase the history and accomplishments of Black El Pasoans as well as the contributions of African Americans in our country’s history.

Campus cat program watches over feral and stray felines who call UTEP home

Every now and then, visitors to the University of Texas at El Paso campus might notice a cat scurry into the bushes or lying down in an open space. These cats live on and around campus and are looked after by Miner Pick Catz, a student organization at UTEP. Since 2021, Miner Pick Catz has supported these feral felines with food and medical care in case of an injury or illness. Before the campus group formed, another feral cat organization, Cat Rescue Corporation, helped the cats and is still one of the partners continuing to help today. “They’re nonprofit, so they pay for the food that we use, all the supplies, also the money for getting them fixed and then also getting their shots and any surgeries that they need,” said Penelope Vega, president of Miner Pick Catz.

Latest version of Viejo Coffee finds its happy place in El Paso’s Kern area

Tucked away in a space behind a popular local bar on North Stanton Street is a coffee business whose owners’ dreams are not so small. Viejo Coffee recently moved from Downtown El Paso to its new location in the Kern Place area by UT El Paso. Its owners, José Arevalo and Miguel de la Rocha had always dreamed of opening a business together. Childhood friends, they opened their first business immediately after graduating from Hanks High School. They went through a few food truck concepts, but both felt they could do something more creative.